Challenge of Champions 32 Set for June 3rd 2012 – Tryouts Will Be Held on March 24th
Be sure to become a fan of the Challenge of Champions Facebook Fan Page for up date news and Announcements – http://www.facebook.com/ChallengeofChampionsMMA
Challenge of Champions 32 Set for June 3rd 2012 – Tryouts Will Be Held on March 24th
Be sure to become a fan of the Challenge of Champions Facebook Fan Page for up date news and Announcements – http://www.facebook.com/ChallengeofChampionsMMA
TSMMA of Bethlehem’s own Roger Garcia wins his debut amateur kickboxing fight at Inkosi Fight Night in Allentown PA. Roger was coached and cornered by Shihan Simpson and Sensei Villafane. Roger scored a TKO at 1 minute and 35 seconds into the third round. Congratulations to Roger on the win and impressive performance!
Train with Sensei Villafane and Roger Garcia @ http://www.tsk.com/locations/PA/Bethlehem/
Killer KnockOuts and Submissions Ring of Combat 39 Epic Replays HD- Featuring Uriah Hall’s Heel Hook!
Train with Uriah Hall @ http://www.tsk.com/locations/NY/Manhattan/
By Steve Davies – mmabay.co.uk
Ellenberger ousts Sanchez in thrilling main event, both win ‘Fight of the Night’ bonuses
Omaha’s own Jake ‘The Juggernaut’ Ellenberger made a successful return home in the main event of the evening as he and fellow welterweight contender, Diego ‘The Dream’ Sanchez, put on a real barnburner that went the distance. While it was Ellenberger who emerged victorious, the outcome did not reflect the entire story and had the fight been a five-rounder, the result may have been very different indeed.
It was all Ellenberger in round one, as the heavy-handed welterweight stayed one step ahead of a wild Sanchez and dropped him with a hard right hand, landing some more important blows standing that left ‘The Dream’s nose cut on the bridge as he took the stool. Things went from bad to worse for Sanchez, who couldn’t find Ellenberger in the stand-up again in round two and after being taken down cleanly, ate some vicious elbows from guard to close the frame and leave him two rounds in the hole.
But in the third round, the mood changed – a clearly tired Ellenberger had slowed down and Sanchez not only landed some solid shots but after shaking ‘The Juggernaut’ to the mat, landed a berzerker-style barrage of shots that threatened to end the fight. Alas, Ellenberger was able to survive and stand, losing the round but taking the 29-28 unanimous decision from all three judges. It was a main event to remember, and a fitting way to close a belter of a first UFC card on FUEL TV.
Next for Ellenberger: ‘The Juggernaut’ started brilliantly last night but not for the first time, Ellenberger’s cardio faded badly and he was in danger of losing that fight. Nonetheless, the Nebraskan banger keeps his winning streak alive and has now knocked out Jake Shields and taken a great decision over Diego Sanchez – this man is ready for a title shot. However, it’s not going to be that simple – Dana White has already stated that he wants Carlos Condit to wait for GSP to return from injury. Unless Jake wants to sit it out until early 2013, expect to see the exciting welterweight clash with the winner of next month’s bout between Thiago Alves and Martin Kampmann – the winner of that cannot be denied a title shot, surely.
Next for Sanchez: Think what you like about ‘The Dream’, he is a tough, tough out for even the best welterweights in the world and can beat anyone on his night. Who knows what weight-class the Greg Jackson fighter will return at, but we could potentially see a rearranged fight with ‘Hall of Famer’, Matt Hughes.
Struve chops down Herman, picks up impressive second round stoppage of ‘Pee Wee’
Heavyweights went to war in the co-main event and it’s hard to say what was more surprising – Dave ‘Pee Wee’ Herman’s incredibly hairiness or the vicious manner in which Stefan ‘Skyscraper’ Struve dispatched of the blue-chip prospect.
Walking to the cage to the immense campness of ‘Macho Man’, Herman and his pink scarf seemed confident enough as the 6ft 5in striker squared up with the 6ft 11in Dutchman and the first round went in his favour. Herman stuck to a solid gameplan, staying on the outside with kicks and landing better shots than Struve.
But in round two, Struve began finding Herman’s chin – dropping him once and chasing him across the cage before a right uppercut to the chin dropped ‘Pee Wee’ to his rear, then his back. Struve’s gangly legs stepped into mount and this time Herman could not escape as he had at the start of the round – ‘Skyscraper’ unloaded with both hands as Herman, badly moused up on his left eye, could only cover up, forcing the stoppage at 3:52 of the second round.
Next for Struve: The young Dutchman continues to improve and has now won back-to-back fights. Say what you will about Dave Herman, but he is a serious prospect in the heavyweight ranks and ‘Skyscraper’ just earned himself some bragging rights. The towering submission specialist has never had a boring UFC fight and a pay-per-view card fight is in Struve’s near future – give him Mike Russow, another surging prospect who is also ready to show his ugly mug on the main cards.
Next for Herman: The odd but affable prospect falls to 21-3 and although he’s 1-1 in the UFC, Herman is hardly in the promotion’s good books. Cutting ‘Pee Wee’ would be petulant, but it’s not out of the question. If the entertaining and unpredictable Herman sticks around, which he should, we might see him tackle the loser of UFC 145’s fight between Travis Browne and Chad Griggs.
Markes limps to decision over Simpson, wins middleweight debut
In what proved to be a tepid middleweight affair on the main card, Brazilian prospect Ronny Markes moved to 13-1 in his professional career but he hardly set the arena on fire with a sluggish victory over Aaron ‘A-Train’ Simpson.
Simpson floored the Nova Uniao man in round one with an uppercut but couldn’t put him away and as the fight crawled on, Markes’ huge frame and strength allowed him to constantly cage and control the Arizona native. The fight regularly drew boos from the crowd but Markes did enough and squeezed by ‘A-Train’ by split decision.
Next for Markes: While Markes has underwhelmed in his two UFC appearances, he’s beating some solid competition and the news that he broke his hand in round one not only explains his game-plan, it redeems him. The Brazilian is a real powerhouse and revealed he’d been offered a fight in Brazil in June – expect to see Markes duke it out with in-form veteran, Ed Herman, to see who deserves a top contender fight.
Next for Simpson: The former NCAA wrestling sensation is getting no younger but has voiced a desire to move to welterweight, which could be very interesting but is not likely really. Instead, we could see him fight for his employment against fellow wrestling crossover, Dan Miller.
Miocic blitzes De Fries, scores ‘Knockout of the Night’ after just 43 seconds
Unbeaten heavyweights met on the main card and it was not a happy night for British prospect, Phil De Fries. The 6ft 5in grappler made his debut on American soil against Croatian-American banger, Stipe Miocic, and if you blinked, you probably missed it.
Surprisingly, a nervous looking De Fries came out bombing, rocking Miocic with a few shots but the former Golden Gloves boxer fired back a stiff right to the chin that wobbled the Brit and sent him scurrying to the cage. A flurry from Miocic, ending with a right hand to the ear area, floored De Fries face-down where he took a few more half-shots that left him unconscious just 43 seconds into round one.
Next for Miocic: The laid-back Miocic is now 8-0 and while he’s 2-0 in the UFC, there are clear flaws to his game that need ironing out if he wants to hang with the big dogs of the division. Bring him along slowly, give him the winner of next month’s fight between Oli Thompson and Shawn Jordan.
Next for De Fries: The Sunderland-born heavyweight suffers his first career loss, falling to 8-1, and he looked extremely nervous before the fight began. He showed though that he has some power in his hands to compliment his ground game and training at Alliance MMA, De Fries has time and the right environment, to improve. He’ll face the loser of the Thompson vs. Jordan scrap, probably for his place on the roster.
Dillashaw unleashes the beast on Watson – the most dominant decision in UFC history?
Former finalist on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, T.J Dillashaw proved why he’s considered perhaps the best prospect in the bantamweight division with a complete shutdown of Walel ‘The Gazelle’ Watson on the main card. The explosive Team Alpha Male wrestler slammed Watson around the cage for fun – chaining submission attempts and hammering him on the ground for three straight rounds.
Watson simply had no answer for the unstoppable Dillashaw who must have had ten or more chances to finish the fight, it was that one-sided. Two judges saw the fight 30-25, the other 30-26, handing Dillashaw a no-brainer of a unanimous decision.
Next for Dillashaw: The prospect moves to 5-1 and while his record needs padding, this isn’t the place to do it – throw him in there with another rising star such as Reuben Duran for another exciting scrap.
Next for Watson: The Texan falls to 1-2 in the UFC but has proven his toughness in both of his losses and to his credit, Watson’s an entertaining fighter if he can stay upright. Expect ‘The Gazelle’ to get a final chance to impress against Alex ‘Bruce Leroy’ Caceres.
Menjivar comes from the brink to tap Albert in storming main card opener
The first fight of the night was a screamer, as bantamweights Ivan Menjivar and John Albert wowed the crowd in a short but sweet battle. After some early exchanges, Menjivar had a spell of raining down shots on ‘Prince’ who constantly worked for submissions and when he stood, a dubious knee to the head dropped ‘The Pride of El Salvador’ sending Albert into kill mode.
The Washington native threw everything but the kitchen sink on Menjivar who refused to fold and after shaking off a guillotine attempt, took the back of an exhausted Albert and tapped him with a rear-naked choke at 3:45 of round one.
Next for Menjivar: The veteran is really sizzling at the moment and is almost guaranteed a main card slot next time out – look for Menjivar to face former champion Brian Bowles or in-form prospect, Edwin Figueroa.
Next for Albert: The rookie is now 7-2 but Albert has both talent and balls, he will definitely be back and hopefully better equipped to pace himself this time. ‘Prince’ could face Byron Bloodworth for a place in the division.
Preliminary Card round-up
Rounding up the prelims, broadcasted on Facebook, was ‘The Ultimate Fighter 12? winner, Jonathan Brookins, who was robbed of ‘Knockout of the Night’ bonuses for his stunning starching of Vagner Rocha. Brookins simply stuffed a takedown, pushed Rocha to full guard and when the BJJ sensation tried for a leg, Brookins simply unloaded with right hands that left Rocha stiff as a board just 1:32 into the first round.
Next for Brookins: The Floridian is now 2-1 in the UFC and will be over the moon with such an emphatic win, putting him in contention for a televised fight on an upcoming FUEL or FX card. Brookins could face wrestler Darren Elkins who is also due a step-up in competition.
Next for Rocha: To put it kindly, Rocha – now 1-2 in the UFC – has seemed more like a coach than a mixed martial artist, if that makes sense? A BJJ coach at Team Pablo Popovitch, Rocha’s game is one-dimensional at best and it’s time he was trimmed from the roster.
An entertaining, back-and-forth scrap between lightweight newcomers Anton Kuivanen and Justin Salas perked up the stragglers in attendance as both had their moments with Kuivanen losing two rounds to the takedown prowess of Salas. The wrestler started shakily but improved as the fight advanced, taking the unanimous decision and showing why he was considered the best 155lb prospect outside of the UFC.
Next for Salas: The Colorado-based prospect moves to 9-3 and that was a hard-earned but impressive win for Salas, who could be paired with a fellow wrestler in Michael Johnson, later this year.
Next for Kuivanen: The Finn was impressive, even in defeat. Kuivanen is in great condition and very well-rounded, and although his record falls to 16-5, the lightweight will certainly get a second bite at the cherry. If the UFC returns to Scandinavia later in the year, we could see a Sweden vs. Finland clash with Kuivanen facing fellow newcomer, Reza Madadi.
A terrible first preliminary card bout was not the fault of lightweight newcomer, Tim Means, who certainly came to fight but found his opponent, Bernardo Magalhaes, suffering from stage-fright. Magalhaes, who did show guts to keep going despite being embarassed and bloodied, constantly backed up as a frustrated Means stalked him down with punches and knees. Means took the lopsided unanimous decision, marking a successful UFC debut.
Next for Means: ‘The Dirty Bird’ can’t be blamed for the fiasco that was this fight but he did his bit and deserves the plaudits. The New Mexican wants to bang – give him British firebrand, Paul Taylor, and we’ll see some banging.
Next for Magalhaes: The Australian-based Brazilian looked terrible, and drops to 11-2. ‘Trekko’ will be extremely lucky to get another fight inside the Octagon, but he did damage his foot badly in round two and with the UFC going to Australia in the summer, could face fellow BJJ stylist George Sotiropoulos.
That’s all for ‘UFC on FUEL TV 1: Ellenberger vs. Sanchez‘, we only have just over a week to wait until the UFC returns to Japan with the blockbuster ‘UFC 144? fight card. Stay tuned to MMABay for more on the aftermatch of last night’s action.
By Steve Davies
Moms Who Kick Inc, a 501(c)(3) public charity founded by a Tiger Schulmann’s student, is searching for “Model Moms” to appear in their 2013 fundraising calendar. The funds raised will directly benefit cutting edge breast cancer research studies. Visit www.MomsWhoKick.com for complete details, official rules and to submit your entry. The contest will run through February 29th, 2012, and we encourage all moms in the tri-state area to enter! Breast cancer survivors and those impacted by cancer through others are all eligible to win a professional photo shoot and be featured in the 2013 Moms Who Kick fundraising calendar!
Good luck, and thanks for your support!
*Last year’s contest winners featured in our 2012 calendar include: Joshu Nina C., Sempai Lori K., and newly blue-belted Lisa M.!
About Moms Who Kick Inc: Moms Who Kick Inc is a volunteer driven 501(c)(3) registered non- profit organization dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer research and to support women’s health. Our mission is to inspire, motivate, and empower women to choose a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a nutritious diet. Our annual calendar features fit and active moms, many who are breast cancer survivors, along with a bio and cancer awareness tips. We hold an annual contest to select new model moms for each calendar. Visit our website at MomsWhoKick.com for more information.
Congrats to TSMMA Tampa Student Caitlin Kelley on her first place finish in the Kids NO-GI Expert 50 to 59.9 lbs division at the NAGA Atlanta on 2/11/12.
Caitlin earned her first Championship Belt with the tournament victory.
Caitlin trains under Shihan Gary Hellman at TSMMA Tampa
By Steve Davies – mmabay.co.uk
Jake Ellenberger (26-5, 5-1 UFC) vs. Diego Sanchez (23-4, 12-4 UFC)
The Lowdown: As the storm surrounding the UFC welterweight title picture finally begins to ease off, two top contenders will go to war in Omaha for the chance to take on the Interim champion, Carlos Condit, later in the year. For Jake ‘The Juggernaut’ Ellenberger, this is the biggest fight of his career – a title eliminator in front of his home-town fans.
The Reign MMA welterweight’s only loss in the UFC came via dodgy split decision to none other than Mr Condit himself but Ellenberger hasn’t looked back since, taking out five in a row and cementing his status as a potential title threat. At UFC 129 last April, the Nebraskan knockout artist did just that to Sean Pierson in the first round but Ellenberger’s coming-out party was a main event clash with Jake Shields at UFN 25.
Just 53 seconds into the fight, ‘The Juggernaut’ felled the shooting Shields with a knee before a series of punches forced the referee to call time. While Ellenberger may be one victory away from a title shot, in Diego ‘The Dream’ Sanchez he faces his most well-rounded and durable foe yet – one more than capable of shutting down his ambitions.
The winner of the very first series of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, Sanchez was once a clearly dominant welterweight but a brief dalliance with 155lbs – and an influx of seriously talented new welterweights – have left the New Mexican looking something of a bit-part player. That said, Sanchez is coming off the back of consecutive decision victories. His dominance of Paulo Thiago at UFC 121 saw Sanchez handed a no-brainer of a unanimous decision but at ‘UFC on Versus 3’ last March, a blood-soaked and disfigured Sanchez took a highly undeserved decision over Martin Kampmann.
The Verdict: Sanchez has the skill-set and style to make this a real barnburner, or a real drag. ‘The Dream’s best route to victory would be to cage Ellenberger at every opportunity, cancelling out his heavy hands and giving him no room to breathe, something Sanchez is very adept at doing. However, Ellenberger’s wrestling – especially defensively, as he rarely uses it as an offensive tool – is stout and he’s powerful enough to muscle his way out of corners if need be.
It’s the striking though, that will be the decider in the main event – despite his experience, Sanchez still wades into battle throwing caution to the wind and often takes his licks in the process. To do so against ‘The Juggernaut’ is asking to wake up on a stretcher and while Ellenberger might not put the iron-jawed Sanchez away, he’ll certainly do enough damage over three rounds to get the nod. Ellenberger, decision.
Stefan Struve (22-5, 6-3 UFC) vs. Dave Herman (21-2, 1-0 UFC)
The Lowdown: The big dogs are on the loose in the night’s co-main event and few are bigger than 6ft 11in Dutchman Stefan Struve, who is making his tenth appearance inside the UFC – a staggering achievement for the 23-year old ‘Skyscraper’. The Team Schrijber prospect is 3-1 in his last four fights and finally seems to have found some rhythm after a couple of early knockout losses in the UFC.
‘Skyscraper’ finished both Christian Morecraft and Sean McCorkle with punches in 2010 but was then ruined by Travis Browne’s thunderous superman punch at UFC 130, the third such loss of Struve’s UFC career. However, the lanky submission specialist got back on his horse to take on Pat Barry last October as the two put on a real show culminating in Struve tapping out the kickboxer with a triangle choke.
Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Dave ‘Pee Wee’ Herman has long been considered one of the blue-chip unsigned heavyweight prospects but apart from a brief fling with Bellator in 2010, Herman rarely laid his hat in one promotion for long. From the Shark Fights cage to the Sengoku ring in Japan, ‘Pee Wee’ racked up some notable victories and is currently riding a three fight win streak.
After taking out Polish slugger Michal Kita with a deft omoplata in Bellator, the 6ft 5in Herman took a close decision over Yoshihiro Nakao in Japan before joining the UFC’s ranks to face Norwegian world grappling champion, John Olav Einemo, at UFC 131. Technique went out the window as the two big men threw down with Herman putting ‘The Viking’ away in round two.
The Verdict: Against Pat Barry, Struve utilised his reach perfectly and did not get dragged into an all-out war – something he would do well to avoid again this week. Herman combines speed and power well, but his somewhat unorthodox striking does leave holes that a long guy like Struve can exploit standing and in the clinch. The chances of Struve taking down the former wrestler are slim, but Herman’s tendency to flag in the cardio department could make him easy pickings if the fight goes beyond the first round or so. Crucially though, ‘Pee Wee’ won’t be giving up as much height or reach as Struve’s previous foes and sooner or later, he’ll penetrate his porous striking defence. Expect to see ‘Skyscraper’ come toppling down as Herman moves into the contenders section with a TKO stoppage. Herman, (T)KO, 2nd round.
Aaron Simpson (11-2, 6-2 UFC) vs. Ronny Markes (12-1, 1-0 UFC)
The Lowdown: A meaty middleweight tilt firms up the main card as Power MMA Team founder, Aaron ‘A-Train’ Simpson looks to pick up his fourth straight victory inside the Octagon. The decorated wrestling convert has won three on the trot since dropping the first two losses of his career in 2010, making 2011 a good year for the 37-year old.
Simpson went back to basics to take lopsided – but uneventful – unanimous decision wins over Mario Miranda and Brad Tavares before once again stifling an opponent with his top-control game at UFC 136, handing Eric Schafer defeat on the scorecards. ‘A-Train’ gets a deserved spot on the televised card in Omaha as he welcomes Brazilian prospect, Ronny Markes, to the 185lb division.
At just 22, the Nova Uniao fighter was snapped up by the UFC on the back of a decision win over former WEC champion, Paulo Filho, in the Brazilian promotion, IFC. The well-rounded youngster made his UFC debut at 205lbs, sobbing on his way to the Octagon at ‘UFC on Versus 5’ last August to face scary Czech wrecking machine, Karlos Vemola.
The emotional Markes then turned in a master-class, tossing the former Czech national wrestling champion around like a child for three rounds and showing some good positional sense on the ground to take the decision. Markes has the tools and athleticism to make some serious noise at 185lbs but first he must derail the ‘A-Train’.
The Verdict: A firm but fair step-up in competition for Markes could be a tricky one – the Brazilian has never faced a true, dogged American wrestler like Simpson and ‘A-Train’ has the cardio and heavy hands to go all night. But the Brazilian is deceptively strong and training with a diverse camp full of killers at Nova Uniao, Markes will be prepared wherever Simpson wants the fight. Expect the American to land a few early takedowns but Markes will stall him up on the mat and win the striking battles to take a nip-tuck and possibly controversial decision. Markes, decision.
Philip De Fries (8-0, 1-0 UFC) vs. Stipe Miocic (7-0, 1-0 UFC)
The Lowdown: Heavyweight prospects get the bump to the main card in Omaha after both impressed on their UFC debuts in 2011 and one man will be leaving nursing his first career defeat. Sunderland’s Philip De Fries boasts an 8-0 record and a BJJ purple-belt to his name and the 6ft 4in Brit garnered quite a reputation submitting tough regional circuit opposition like Stav Economou in the UWC promotion. Now training with Alliance MMA in California, the 25-year old prospect out-grappled and out-lasted fellow British heavyweight, Rob Broughton, to a decision at UFC 138.
De Fries faces a sterner test this week in the shape of unbeaten Croatian-American prospect, Stipe Miocic. Long regarded one of the best unsigned talents in North America, the Ohio-based Miocic forges a background in collegiate wrestling with Golden Gloves boxing skills and made short work of all comers in the little leagues. A veteran of the East coast promotion, NAAFS, Miocic took his UFC bow at UFC 136 in October – battering Joey Beltran to a one-sided unanimous decision.
The Verdict: This fight is Miocic’s to lose, simply put. De Fries is a unique British heavyweight in that he has real talent in the grappling department but he lacks the striking usually associated with British fighters and Miocic will have no problem dealing with his rudimentary stand-up. While De Fries has made a good move in training with Alliance MMA, his wrestling will not have improved enough to enable him to ground Miocic – the Croatian-American takes this, wearing down the Brit with legkicks and putting him away in round two to remain unbeaten. Miocic, (T)KO, 2nd round.
T.J Dillashaw (4-1, 0-1 UFC) vs. Walel Watson (9-3, 1-1 UFC)
The Lowdown: Team Alpha Male bantamweight T.J Dillashaw gets a surprising recall to the main card despite only lasting two minutes in the season finale of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ in December. A member of Team Bisping, the 5ft 6in wrestling crossover from Sacramento, California had looked close to unstoppable during the elimination stages, dominating Dustin Pague in the semi-finals to reach the last hurdle.
However, the stocky and heavy-handed Dillashaw could not gauge the rhythm of John Dodson who dropped the wrestler and scored a slightly premature TKO stoppage in round one with his rapid-fire punches. While Dillashaw struggled to match the speed of Dodson, he faces a very different challenge in Omaha – the praying mantis of the division, Walel Watson.
‘The Gazelle’ has tasted both victory and defeat inside the Octagon, beginning with a first round TKO over Joseph Sandoval in October – dropping his man with a headkick and finishing him off in less than two minutes. The 5ft 9in Team Hurricane Awesome bantamweight then slipped up at UFC 140, losing a razor-close split decision to Yves Jabouin.
The Verdict: On first glance, Watson’s height could be a real problem for the shorter Dillashaw but T.J has the tools to take this, and I think he’ll get the job done – just about. Dillashaw’s top wrestling and always improving striking should allow him to close the gap and get the takedown, but that might be just the start of his troubles as Watson’s ground game is good and he’s always dangerous in close quarters with knees and elbows. One thing that stood out about ‘The Gazelle’s last fight was his bad habit of leaving his chin wide open and straight up in the air when going into exchanges – Dillashaw will exploit this, hurting him with a few right hands and taking him down, rinse and repeat. Dillashaw, decision.
That’s all for the main card of ‘UFC on FUEL TV 1: Ellenberger vs. Sanchez’, remember to log onto UFC.tv at 1am for the main card live from Omaha, Nebraska and also check out the prelims live on Facebook to get you warmed up for the big show.
By Steve Davies
A women’s bout between prospects Marianna “The Crushen Russian” Kheyfets and Munah Holland is currently in the works for Bellator Fighting Championships 63 on March 30th in Uncasville, Connecticut. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed plans for the fight with MMARising.com today.
Both fighters earned victories in their respective bouts this past weekend. Kheyfets kept her unbeaten record intact with a first-round doctor stoppage victory over Heather “Hurricane” Clark at XFC 16, while Holland earned a Majority Decision win against Pearl Gonzalez at Ring of Combat 39.
Kheyfets (5-0-0) has quickly developed into one of the top stars in the Florida-based Xtreme Fighting Championships promotion where four of her pro bouts have taken place. Facing progressively tougher opposition, Kheyfets has thus far passed each test with flying colours. On Friday night, the Danbury, Connecticut native engaged Clark in a back-and-forth battle through one round that was contested predominantly on the feet. While Clark was effective with counter right hands, Kheyfets remained aggressive throughout and she landed an elbow strike to Clark’s right eye late in the first round that forced the cageside physician to stop the fight. She now takes on another striker, Holland, in a bout that will serve as both fighters’ Bellator debuts.
Holland (3-1-0) brings a strong background in boxing into her first foray into the Bellator cage. The 2007 Golden Gloves amateur boxing champion has competed exclusively in the Ring of Combat promotion since making the transition to mixed martial arts in a bout with Kim Couture in October 2010. After a submission setback less than two months later, Holland has since rebounded with two victories in the ROC cage. She has demonstrated a competent ground game to complement her formidable striking skills and was also victorious this past Friday night. By putting together a solid final round, Holland earned the nod from two cageside judges in her competitive bout with Gonzalez and she now looks to hand Kheyfets her first professional defeat.
Bellator Fighting Championships 63 takes place on March 30th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The event features the quarterfinal matchups in the Bellator Season Six Welterweight Tournament. The bout between Kheyfets and Holland is expected to be a part of the night’s preliminary card.
Congrats to Ben on placing first in the NO-GI 12 years old 90 to 99.9 lbs. Expert division and placing second in the GI 12-13 years old 90 to 99.9 lbs. Expert Division at the NAGA PHILADELPHIA GRAPPLING CHAMPIONSHIP February 4,2011.
Ring of Combat, Feb. 10th, 2012 –My words by Sensei Holland
As I prepared to head into the Cage for my match I was absorbing all the electrical vibrations coming from the crowd of Tiger Schulmann supporters. I do not believe that I can thank everyone enough for the incredible energy I felt from you all. When I am fighting I do not necessarily hear particular words being yelled from the crowd, but I feel this overwhelming positive energy coming in my direction. It motivates me, drives me to push onward and upward, to succeed. To all of the families, students, and parents who were at the event, watching live on the web, or just sending me their well wishes I want you to know, I so greatly appreciate your encouragement. Amazing moments are only amazing when you have people to share those moments with, so thank you again and again!
I have no doubt in my mind that I have the most incredible Coaches and Teammates in TIGER SCHULMANN’s. I am also incredibly fortunate to love my job working for Tiger Schulmann’s and look forward to my next adventure because of the wonderful students who continue to inspire me to be the best that I can!
Last, but never least, I want to reach out to my family and say that no matter what, through thick and thin, we are all wonderfully crazy people and I love that you are in my corner for the rest of our lives.
Train with Munah Holland @ http://www.tsk.com/locations/NJ/Northplainfield/